‘The Walking Dead’: Andrew Lincoln’s Last Episode Clip Hints at Rick Grimes’ Survival

AMC has released a clip (via IndieWire) from Andrew Lincoln’s last episode of The Walking Dead, hinting the gravely wounded Rick Grimes will fall into the hands of a desperate Anne (Pollyanna McIntosh).

A radio, gun, and map rest in Anne’s passenger seat. The radio stirs to life.

“Confirm location,” says a voice belonging to an unknown male. “And status of your A.”

Anne responds, sweaty and shaking.

“I’m in the clearing. East bank of the Accotink,” she says. “1.6 miles due North of the junkyard.”

“Do you have the A?” asks the man.

“I have the A,” Anne confirms. “And it’s ready for transport.”

“We haven’t heard from you since the aborted pickup,” the man says, stern, forcing a sign of frustration from Anne as she recalls her botched offering of a captured Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). “We know your group vacated the landfill. If this is a trick, there can still be consequences.”

“It’s not a trick,” she spits through gritted teeth. “If I need evacuation, you know that I’m desperate. I need to leave this place. You know where to find me.”

She steps outside the RV. Looks to the skies, radio in one hand, gun in the other.

“And I’ll be ready.”

Rick, who was captured by Anne in Season Eight when she ruled the Scavengers as Jadis, has already been confirmed to be an “A” — and Anne’s placement near the river ties in with hints Rick’s fate is tied to the bridge and the raging river below, as Rick can be seen in the preview for 905 leading the herd of walkers over the structure he initially refused to sacrifice despite the urging of Daryl (Norman Reedus).

A previous clip showed a delirious Rick Grimes hallucinating a swarming herd of helicopters, further suggesting the long-unfolding helicopter mystery will culminate in 905.

Should Anne abscond with her prize with the helicopter group, the move would allow Lincoln to exit the mothership series while leaving the door wide open for his possible future return to the Walking Dead universe.

“This is a show with dead in the title. There are going to be losses,” showrunner Angela Kang told the BBC when hinting Rick’s exit lacks finality. “Not all of them are deaths, sometimes there are departures of different kinds, but this is really a show about how people survive.”

Kang also elaborated to EW on the “A” and “B” system used by the helicopter group to classify survivors, pointing out Rick and Negan were both ‘A’s while Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) was initially a ‘B’ — indicating ‘A’s aren’t easily come across.

“The A and B has something to do with the thing that she was involved in which was human trading, and it was a way to differentiate between classes of people,” Kang said.

“She thought that Gabriel was a B. She knew that Rick and Negan were A’s but she now thinks that Gabriel is also an A. So I’ll just say that, because I think anything more, I might get in trouble.”

Alternatively, an ‘A’ could suggest a survivor who is incapacitated — both Rick and Negan were restrained — while a ‘B’ could be someone who accepts the helicopter ride willingly, seeing as Anne initially asked Gabriel to come with her to a far away better place.

But Gabriel resisted, and was subsequently knocked unconscious and held captive — turning him from a ‘B’ to an ‘A.’

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Despite his looming exit from the series, Lincoln himself hinted his stepping away from The Walking Dead never meant Rick Grimes dies: “My relationship with this part is far from over,” Lincoln told ComicBook.com. “I’m not gonna say anything more than that but I will say, ‘Watch this season.’”

Lincoln’s last episode airs Sunday at 9/8c on AMC.